How To Fix Kodi (XBMC) Error: “unable to read PO file header”

If your Kodi (XBMC) addons doesn’t behave nicely as they should, the reason might be linked to this common error you may get, yet do not despair because solving this problem is easier than you think!

Updated Mar 18, 2016How To's
Fix Kodi PO file header

Upon using Kodi media player, from time to time you may encounter errors which may hinder your experience, such errors and a general way of dealing with them had already been mentioned here (on iWillFolo) in the past: How To Fix “Script failed! : addon.py” on XBMC?

However, in this post I would like to focus specifically on a common and quite easy to solve error – ” ERROR: POParser: unable to read PO file header from file:"

Finding the Error

The first step you need to make in order to fix the error, is to first find out what error exactly are you suffering from?

To do so simply, enter your Kodi log file and scroll down to the bottom until you see the word “error” (should be close to the end of the file).

Note: the location of the log file may vary between each platform, use the following chart to locate the relevant location for your platform:
Operating system File/Folder Paths
 Android  <data/sdcard/Android>/data/org.xbmc.xbmc/cache/temp/xbmc.log
or /sdcard/Android/data/org.xbmc.xbmc/files/.xbmc/temp/xbmc.log
 iOS/ATV2  /private/var/mobile/Library/Preferences/xbmc.log
 Linux   $HOME/.xbmc/temp/xbmc.log
 Mac OS X   /Users/<username>/Library/Logs/xbmc.log
 Windows   %APPDATA%\XBMC\xbmc.log
 Special protocol   special://logpath (this can be used by scripts)

 

Now that you’ve found your Kodi log file and discovered the type of error you’re getting, it’s time to move on to the next step – solving the problem!

Fix the PO File Header

What are PO files?

PO (Portable Object) files are GNU gettext files which assist in producing multi-lingual messages which can be used by different programs and packages.

This is a common structure of a PO file header in Kodi:

msgid ""
msgstr ""
"Project-Id-Version: XBMC Main Translation Project (Gotham)\n"
"Report-Msgid-Bugs-To: http://trac.xbmc.org/\n"
"POT-Creation-Date: YEAR-MO-DA HO:MI+ZONE\n"
"PO-Revision-Date: YEAR-MO-DA HO:MI+ZONE\n"
"Last-Translator: XBMC Translation Team\n"
"Language-Team: English (http://www.transifex.com/projects/p/XBMC-Main-Gotham/language/en/)\n"
"MIME-Version: 1.0\n"
"Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8\n"
"Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit\n"
"Language: en\n"
"Plural-Forms: nplurals=2; plural=(n != 1);\n"

To fix the Kodi error that concerning the PO files header, simply navigate into the location where to log file error points at, for instance:

/home/liron/.xbmc/addons/service.subtitles.opensubtitles/resources/language/English/strings.po

Open up the the PO file with a text editor, such as notepad or kwrite for example, and note that the header of the file exists there.

Usually when Kodi complains about it, it’s a sign the header isn’t there at all. If that’s your case, then you may copy the above example and save it to your file, restart Kodi and note that the problem is gone.

In case a header exists yet Kodi still complains about it, you may want to compare the header found in your file with the example above and see whether there are some parameters missing from your file.

Complete the necessary parameters, save and restart Kodi.

That’s all :)

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